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Debunking 5 Common Solar Myths

Think solar panels won't work for you?  Maybe it's time to think again.  Solar can be affordable, work well in cold climates, and (oh yeah!) save the planet.  

Let's debunk 5 common solar myths.  

Myth #1:  Solar is pricier than conventional energy.

Reality:  Solar panels can indeed be costly upfront.  Some people might need to look into financing options.  Other people might opt to lease, which has a low upfront cost and low monthly payments.    Solar can also pay for itself after a while, especially in states with great incentives such as Oregon, New York, and Massachusetts.  

"While solar energy can require a somewhat daunting upfront cost, Massachusetts homeowners are currently looking at one of the best payback periods in the country: between 5 and 7 years.  After the payback year, your system becomes cash flow positive, and you can produce free, clean electricity for 20 to 30 years.  Remember, there is no such return on investment when paying your utility company month-by-month for electricity," says the Sunlight Solar blog.

Myth #2:  Solar only works in warm, sunny climates.

Reality:  Solar works great in areas with colder weather...in fact, they often work better in those climates!  Check out last week's post about solar energy in cooler climates.  

Myth #3:  I should wait, because solar will probably get cheaper.  

Reality:  The technology probably will get less expensive, but as the technology gets cheaper, the incentives will be less enticing.  

Myth #4:  Manufacturing solar panels causes more pollution than the energy they save.

Reality:  These myths hit almost everything sustainable.  I've heard this about the manufacturing of cloth diapers and hybrids, also.  It's just simply untrue.  Solar Power Rocks says:  "A study by the US Department of Energy shows that, depending on your solar panels, the energy payback is 1 to 4 years. Solar panels usually last 25 years, so solar manufacturing is very green. That said, if you buy American made panels, it saves more carbon from the transport costs. Something to consider in choosing your panels."

Myth #5:  Solar panels create waste.  Once you're done with the solar panels, they wind up taking up space in a landfill somewhere.

Reality: Many manufacturers offer recyclable solar panels.  Check out this Daily Green post about recycling solar panels.  Many companies are also working on making solar panel recycling program.  When shopping for solar panels, check with the companies to see if they're reyclable, and how you can recycle them.

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